For many students, writing a poem can be very challenging. It can often seem as though poets have a way with words that regular writers just don’t have, so it can be hard to remember that even famous poets had to start somewhere once!
A poem is just a collection of words put together to convey a meaning, exactly like every other type of writing. Think of it like this and writing a poem suddenly seems far more achievable. The key is not to become overwhelmed.
This article is going to look at how students can write a catchy poem.
#1. Limit the topic!
Many students, when tasked with writing a poem, try to write about far too much. A poem cannot be about every topic in the world – a poem has to be about something very specific. Even when the poem is about something specific, for example, diamonds, it is unlikely to be about diamonds in general. It is more likely to be about how diamonds make a person feel.
When considering topics for a poem, be very specific. A great tip is to focus on the moment, especially a moment which expresses an emotion. It doesn’t even have to be a “traditionally emotional” moment – poems have been written about TV adverts and the moments before a favourite band have appeared on stage!
#2. Be descriptive
The great description can reel in a reader. It can help them to really imagine, with absolute clarity, the object of the poem. However, there is a danger in being descriptive – and that is being too descriptive. No-one wants to read a list so be descriptive but in a concise way. Remember, you are not writing a description of a missing cat. Unless you are, in which case try throwing in some rhyming words …
#3. Use literary tools, such as rhyme
Rhyme is fantastic to use in poetry as it makes the poem sound musical, which in turn makes it more pleasant to listen to and easier to remember. Poetry is often synonymous with rhyme, and for that reason writing a poem can be off-putting to some students.
However, many students do not realise that using rhyme can actually be very helpful when it comes to writing a poem. If a student wants to use rhyme, then the most common form is to have the rhyme at the end of each line, e.g. “Tiger Tiger of the Night / In the forests, burning bright”.
A more complex structure is internal rhyme, where two words within the same line rhyme. This is a great challenge for those who want to throw themselves into writing a poem, but a beginner could find it a little too off-putting, e.g. “I looked in the mug and I found a bug.”
#4. Try different poetry forms
At the last count, there were over 125 different poetry forms. If you are struggling to write a poem in one form then experiment using a different form. With over 125 different forms to choose from then, it is practically guaranteed that each student will find a form to suit them. Check out http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/types.html for some of the different types of poetry to try.
#5. Don’t try to be poetic
Too many students try to be poetic from the start when writing a poem. This might sound ridiculous, but it isn’t. imagine learning to drive a car. You learn about the controls way before you learn to do complex manoeuvres.
In other words, you concentrate on a very small part of driving and the same happens when writing poetry. At the start, just concentrate on the information you want to convey and think of the words that you want to use. Do not think about how you will make them rhyme or how you will put them in sentences as that will come later. Think about the effect that you want your poetry to have on the reader and try out different techniques.
#6. Avoid clichés and “beautiful things”
Just avoid them. No-one likes hearing them, and no-one likes reading them. Similarly, avoid the trap of using descriptions of traditionally beautiful things (like roses or kittens) in your poems. It’s been (over) done.
#7. Consider the poem from all angles
Don’t rush this part. Think about the subject of the poem from as many different perspectives as possible, and write down anything that comes to mind. Don’t edit or correct yourself too soon – save that for later, after you’ve taken a break from the poem for a day to two. When you come back to it, think about how best to get your point across to the reader.
#8. Test out your poem on friends
It can be hard to know whether or not your poem is catchy when you have spent a long time preparing and writing it. Test out your poem on friends to see what their reactions are. Sometimes words and phrases which are very easily understandable to you might be confusing to others, so it’s worth checking them out.
Writing poetry can be a challenge, but it’s no more challenging than having a go at any other type of writing. The key is to throw away any fear of it being hard and just having a go. Having to start again is not the worst thing to happen and it will help you to develop your skills and resilience as a writer. As an option, you can get custom written poems from highly qualified academic experts you can easily hire at a professional writing company.
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This post is a collaboration.